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Otakon 2004 - The Cover Story
October 2013
Sun, Aug. 1st, 2004 09:41 pm
Otakon 2004

So, here's the Con summary for those of you who weren't there.

So my con-buddy ultimatepsi and I took off in the Brewermobile around 0740 on Friday morning, heading out for Baltimore. We had a wonderful time discussing the Interstate System and navigating our way down the eastern seaboard, dodging major cities, and paying a king's ransom in tolls. I don't think its possible to cross the Hudson in a motor vehicle without paying at least three dollars in tolls.

We hit Baltimore around 1430, and proceeded directly to the Harbor Court Hotel. The hotel was very nice, and we checked in without any issues. Having stowed our gear, we then trekked to the Baltimore Convention Center where the Convention was actually taking place. We registered with reasonable haste, and then proceeded to plan what events we were going to attend.

We started off with an AMV screening, which was where the con ran all of the AMV's that didn't make it into this year's contest. Some of them were quite amusing. When we got out of that, I met up with ultimatepsi again to coordinate food. We began with the places that were listed in the Convention's handout. They were, in order that we visited them, closed, non-existent, closed, and in the process of closing. Eventually we found a sports bar that was open, but when we went in it was more in environment like an italian restaurant. They also had an odd definition of "well-done", which, among other things, included the words "red" and "bleeding". We finished dinner there and returned to the convention center to pursue separate events. I attended a panel hosted by Harmony Gold about Robotech, in which they released some very interesting information about the direction the franchise is going, as well as demoing a prototype of the upcoming game.

After the RoboTech panel, I embarked on a mission to to see Battle Royale II, a movie showing in one of the major video rooms. It had been suggested to me that if at all possible, I should see Battle Royale, but alas it was not playing so I had to settle for the sequel. Finding the hall it was showing in proved to be a challenge, as the maps of the building didn't include walls or doors, since the building could be reconfigured to suit the event being held there. At lease twice looking for the theatre, I found myself standing at a wall, saying "Where I need to be is immediately on the other side of this wall". There were no doors, of course. In any event, I did finally get to the film about 15 minutes into it. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I left the film with the vaguely reassuring knowledge that, in this age of live-from-the-battlefield and digitally simulated combat, there is still a level of violence that makes me physically ill.

When the movie got out, I found my friend once again, and as we walked around, we ran into nyren. That was fun. We talked for a while, then retired to the hotel, where I fell asleep in rather short order, and dreamt very disturbing dreams, heavily influenced by the movie I had just seen.

I woke up on Saturday, enjoyed dinner at the hotel with my companion, and returned to the convention. The first thing I did was attend a panel on Webcomics, which was fascinating and very amusing. The panelist had never sat on a panel before, so immediately after the introductions they went to Q&A. It was a marvelous time. However, I had to skip out of the panel shortly before it ended to attend the Otakon 2004 AMV Contest. This year's AMV's were fantastic, and the Upbeat/Rhythm and Humorous/Satirical category contenders were outstanding even among the finalists. Unfortunately, I cleverly left a pencil in the hotel room, so I was unable to vote in the contest, but since I never bothered to check who won, I suspect its alright. After I got out of the AMV contest ultimatepsi and I walked to the Bank of America building to get chicken parms (in both dinner and grinder varieties), wolf them down, and then hurry back to the BCC, where I attended an Evangelion Q&A panel, which was a fun panel to attend, simply because of the huge number of questions the series brings up, and I was sorry to see it end after only an hour. However, I got over it a short while later when I attended the "50 Years of Godzilla" panel, which was a very fun panel that discussed the past 27 Godzilla movies, the history of Godzilla, and an upcoming movie call "Godzilla: Final Wars". The panel was interrupted for a few minutes when a cosplayer in a 9-foot Godzilla costume walked in, to cheers and a flurry of photographs.

After the Godzilla panel, I made my way to watch a series of Fan Parodies, movies made by taking footage from Anime series and dubbing over different soundtracks. They were quite good, even if two of the three were still "work-in-progress" features.

After the parodies, I once again found ultimatepsi. She wasn't feeling particularly tired, so we went to the dance at the convention, which ended up being so packed it was virtually impossible to move, much less bust a groove. So after a few minutes of trying with limited success, we gave up, ran into nyren yet again, and finally hit the hay.

This morning I got up, showered, and off we went again. We got to the convention to witness an immense line to get into the dealer's room for the last day. That was funny. We needed to check out at 1200, but at 1015, it began to pour rain. By pour rain, I mean an unholy torrent of wishy-washy wetness was unleashed on the city of Baltimore. Now neither of us had brought a coat with us, so I bravely marched down to the Dealer's Room, bought an Umbrella, and pressed through the rain back to hotel, checked us out, transferred all of our clothing to the car, and triumphantly returned through the downpour to the BCC just in time for it to stop raining. ultimatepsi and I got some lunch at the Convention Center, and then hit the road for Branford.

On the ride back to Connecticut, we had some nice conversation (seeing as we were sitting next to each other for close to seven hours), paid many tolls, and forbid my companion from ever commenting on the traffic on 95 again. We finally made it back to my home safe and sound, and that was good. I'd give more details, but methinks this post is long enough already.

In summary, Otakon was a lot of fun.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted


Mon, Aug. 2nd, 2004 07:13 pm (UTC)

As my dad thought that taking him to Baltimore via 95 was a good way for me to get driving practice, I could have told you that Baltimore was over-rated and that 95 around there can be less than fun. (-: I'm glad that you had a good time at the con at any rate.